300 cherry-blossom trees in full bloom again this year along a 2-km stretch of the Rokugo Kaido road in Furano
As the cherry blossoms along the Rokugo Yamabe Teishajo Prefectural Highway (Rokugo Kaido) in the city of Furano in northern Hokkaido reach their peak this spring, passing tourists can be seen stopping their vehicles on the shoulder of the road to take photos. Many of the local residents are farmers and, as they are busy at this time of year, they are unable to enjoy the blossoms at their leisure. Even so, the Rokugo Promotion Group, made up of local residents, has continued to manage the site, enabling it to be enjoyed by local passers-by for over 40 years.
A 2-km stretch of the Rokugo Kaido road, along the Nunobe River, is lined with approximately 300 cherry blossom trees. One tree was planted for each house there in 1979, with residents planting a total of 800 trees. Subsequent pruning has resulted in the current form of the trees.
According to local farmers, the cherry blossoms were planted on the proposal of Maeda Kazuo, the owner of a shop and timber company in Rokugo who passed away last winter at the age of 89. Maeda is said to have conceived the idea of the cherry blossoms, saying “If we don’t establish a place of interest and attract people, Rokugo has no future.”
The chair of the Rokugo Promotion Group says “the row of cherry blossoms is a regional treasure. If possible, we want to continue protecting the scenery that has lasted for over 40 years, for the residents who look forward to it each year”.
Rokugo Kaido /Prefectural Highway No.544
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